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Isolated thyroid abscess in early childhood
  1. Lekhya Venkataraman1,
  2. Prasanna Kumar Saravanam2,
  3. Sathish Kumar Jayagandhi3 and
  4. Pradeep Dhanapal1
  1. 1ENT, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  2. 2ENT, Head and Neck Surgery, Sri Ramachandra University Medical College, Chennai, India
  3. 3Otorhinolaryngology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lekhya Venkataraman; Lekhs1990{at}


Isolated thyroid abscess is a rare entity in early childhood. Among thyroid disorders, thyroid abscess or acute suppurative thyroiditis constitutes about 0.7%–1% of all cases. The thyroid gland is normally resistant to infections due to its well-enveloped capsule, rich blood supply, and high iodine content.

A child presented with tender neck swelling accompanied by fever for 3 days. Ultrasound of the neck showed features suggestive of left parapharyngeal abscess. Laboratory parameters including thyroid function test were within normal limits. Contrast-enhanced CT of the neck was done and showed an isolated thyroid abscess with no other abnormalities. The patient was started on intravenous antibiotics followed by incision and drainage of the abscess. The child improved symptomatically. This report discusses the differential diagnosis and management of this rare entity.

  • Ear, nose and throat
  • Infections
  • Paediatrics (drugs and medicines)
  • Pathology

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  • Contributors VL: primary surgeon who did the case surgery, obtained informed consent, and was responsible for data collection. PKS: unit chief who assisted with the case diagnosis, and edited and verified the case report. SKJ: surgeon who assisted with the case, and participated in editing the case report. PD: junior resident who observed the case, and assisted with data collection.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.